EU refuses to lift anti-Russia sanctions during pandemic

EU refuses to lift anti-Russia sanctions during pandemic

The European Union leadership says there is no issue in keeping sanctions against Russia in place amid the coronavirus pandemic, spokesperson for the European Commission Peter Stano told a video briefing on Monday.

According to him, the sanctions "do not hamper Russia’s capabilities to address the outbreak," TASS reported.

Answering a question about a letter sponsored by a number of MEPs, demanding that the commission do not "lift the sanctions on Russia under the pretext of the coronavirus pandemic," Stano noted that the sanctions "do not prevent Russia from tackling coronavirus outbreak."

"Yes, indeed, we have received this letter and the reply will be sent through the usual channels. Just to recall, the High Representative, Josep Borrell, issued a declaration last Friday on behalf of the EU, where it is stressed that sanctions should not impede the delivery of essential equipment and supplies which are necessary to fight the coronavirus and limit its spread worldwide," the spokesperson for the European Commission added.

He points out that the sanctions were imposed following the events that took place in Ukraine and Crimea in 2014. "This means that these sanctions do not prevent Russia from tackling the coronavirus outbreak," Stano stressed.

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